B2B Loyalty Program Examples And Why They Work so Well
The popularity of loyalty programs cannot be denied. According to Annex Cloud, 87% of shoppers want brands to have a program where they can earn points for every purchase.
B2B partners are on the same boat. Due to industry standards, there is a lack of diversity that renders most B2B products the same.
Therefore, loyalty programs help differentiate companies from each other and attract the right partners in the process.
As the person responsible for growing customer loyalty and retention, developing a B2B customer loyalty strategy must be at the top of your list.
In this post, I’ll be discussing the different B2B loyalty program examples to help you come up with ideas to implement on your program.
Difference Between B2B and B2C Loyalty Programs
A B2B loyalty program:
- Has highly individualized personalization elements depending on the needs of the customer.
- Requires greater product knowledge before partners will fully commit to your program. This would require you to provide them educational modules to ingratiate them with your product.
- Grants long-time partners with special incentives like travel.
On the other hand, a B2C loyalty program:
- Has personalized elements depending on the segment of its customer base (segment).
- Does not require customers comprehensive knowledge about the product, i.e. Starbucks customers don’t have to know all the ingredients of the drink before buying it.
- Taps unto customer’s emotions to influence their purchasing decisions.
B2B Loyalty Program Statistics
If you’re still unsure if building a B2B loyalty program is right for you, let the statistics below speak for themselves:
- 90% of B2B accounts believe that more personal interactions between a company and its partners produce more engagement between the two. (Loyalty 360)
- The most significant pain point among the 1,000 B2B decision-makers who participated in the survey is the lack of speed in response time with suppliers. (McKinsey Insights)
- 51% of B2B companies stay away from vendors after experiencing poor customer service, while 62% bought more thanks to encountering good customer service. (Zendesk)
B2B Loyalty Program Examples
By looking at real-life examples of business to business loyalty programs, you can get ideas on what tactics you should use.
As one of the leading consumer electronics companies in the world, Lenovo was in uncharted territory when it purchased IBM’s X86 server division in 2014. Since the company neither had the experience nor name value in the server industry, IBM’s former international business partners (BPs) were unsure of how to proceed to resell the same servers in the market.
Therefore, Lenovo sought help from Motivforce Marketing & Incentives to develop a loyalty program. Its goal is to leverage the program to keep current BPs from leaving and defecting as a reseller of a different brand.
With the development of Lenovo Expert Achievers Programme (LEAP), the brand focused on two vital components geared towards instilling BPs confidence into Lenovo.
- The first is the Learn and earn component composed of educational modules about the complex world of servers.
- The second is Earn and sell where BPs can track their sales performance in which sales were converted into points.
- With a target of 500 firms taking part in the program, over 700 joined.
- With a target of US$170M of sales from LEAP participants, the program hit 40% over target.
- Participants sold seven times more products than non-participants from the previous year.
- Incentivize education - Lenovo rewarded businesses that took time to complete their educational modules with points as part of LEAP. More importantly, the modules helped businesses increase their sales. If you have businesses struggling to reach quotas, develop educational materials and improve your on-boarding process to help them improve their performance and get more loyalty points.
- Keep current businesses - The brand put a heavy focus on retaining clients instead of acquiring new ones through the loyalty program. Aside from rewarding business customers for completing your educational modules, you can develop a more meaningful relationship with each by holding in-person seminars and webinars regarding your program. From there, you can ask insights from B2B partners on how you can improve your processes to get them to stay and perform better.
Seiko Visions launched a B2B rewards program years ago. However, it wasn’t getting the results they wanted. Worse yet, its website’s bounce rate touched 90%.
Bree Smith identified this issue and suggested a few things to improve its performance:
- Redirect B2B visitors to a different domain for its rewards program.
- Showcase the features and benefits of its loyalty program instead of product descriptions.
This b2b loyalty program case study shows the importance of identifying your audience and developing assets geared towards increasing conversions by improving customer loyalty.
- Decreased bounce rate to 20+% in the first few months.
- Improved lead generation by 943%.
- Recognized as “DFW Marketer of the Year 2016-17” by The American Marketing Association, Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter.
- Separate your B2B clients from B2C ones - The initial setup of SeikoVision was to help their B2B and B2C customers in a single site, which became confusing.
- Simple yet effective resources can go a long way - Bree Smith also created an infographic which optometrists hung on their walls for patients to see. The image served as a resource that partners used to inform their audience, which made selling its products much more straightforward.
TRW is one of the leading global brands for steering, suspension, and braking parts in the automobile aftermarket.
In 2014, competitors are flooding the market with branded and non-branded products. Also, because of its complex distribution structures, there were no direct means for businesses to communicate with its aftermarket.
To counter the issue, TRW relaunched its Automotive Diamonds, a B2B loyalty program to target workshops across Europe.
- The centralization of its loyalty system improved communication as more emails were opened and sent.
- Awarded by the International Loyalty Magazine as “B2B Loyalty Program of the Year 2015.”
- Improved number of new workshop sign-ups every month.
- Make communication easy - The program achieved to centralize TRW’s loyalty system, which validated performances of all workshops and reduce communication friction between workshops and the company.
- Provide documentation to partners - The loyalty program provided comprehensive rights and consent management to workshops. It gave them the ability to develop partnerships with third-party services as long as they exercise business within their rights. Also, the same loyalty program will manage all partners of workshops.
- Use the order history of partners - Automotive Diamonds use the profile of each workshop, including their order history. This allows the program to provide unique custom offers for each to help increase their sales. In your case, find a way how you can gather data from your partners and provide them with individual solutions to boost their performance.
As a luxury cruise brand, Celebrity Cruises wanted to cut through the highly competitive travel market.
Most of their sales come from travel agents selling their cruises and vacation packages. However, due to cash incentives and commissions they get from competitors, rarely do travel agents develop a loyalty towards a particular cruise brand.
By launching its B2B loyalty program Celebrity Rewards in 2015, Celebrity Cruises was determined to get the best performing agents to work with the brand exclusively.
To achieve this, Celebrity Rewards did the following:
- Create an intuitive, user-friendly online portal where agents can claim their booking sales and check and redeem their points.
- Encouraged agents to upsell clients to higher stateroom categories so they can earn greater points.
- Launched “Celebrity Moments” campaign in the UK/Ireland market for three month. Aside from earning points for booking clients, agents can earn up to £500 in points if they top the leaderboard.
- Motivated 12,683 agents to join the program, 6,137 of which are active participants.
- Grew average price per day in the UK by 13% for bookings made that year.
- Grew revenue by 13% because of achieving higher pricing.
- Add gamification elements to the program - Make sure that all participants of your program win in the end. But the best performers get to win more.
- Make the rewards worth it - Aside from cash rewards, come up with creative incentives your partners will want to work hard for.
From the B2B loyalty program examples above, you’ll see that each business type approaches the development of B2B incentive programs differently.
Some, like Lenovo, developed the program from the ground up. Others like Celebrity Cruises resorted to creative ways to acquire loyal partners through their program despite stiff competition.
It’s all about finding ways to foster loyalty among your partners with the help of your program.
Therefore, below are B2B loyalty program best practises you can learn based on the brands featured above.
- Provide tools such as documents and resources for your partners to succeed. Even if the incentive of your loyalty program is enticing, they won’t be able to hit their goals if they don’t know how to do it properly.
- Make communication between you and your partners simple and straightforward. Standardize a specific form of engagement using a platform when you and stores can see how they are performing and whether they’re hitting their quotas.